November 16, 2008

Studio Play Time

Some how I got sidetracked this afternoon ..... I was seeing what was on the Internet for bead crochet "how-to's" and ran across a couple of videos on how to do Viking chain knit. That's something that has intrigued me for awhile. I've had this 40# spool of wire under my beading table for about 18 months, thinking it would work great to practice Viking knitting with wire.

See where this is going?

Yes, I then spent a couple of enjoying (frustrated) hours playing with wire. The big spool wire is a stainless alloy and tended to work harden very quickly. I couldn't manage to get the hang of weaving with it so I grabbed a spool of much softer, coated magnet wire that I use for twisted wire earrings. Hallelujah, it was just what I needed and soon had a rhythm going of lopping and pulling through. I still like the idea of the stainless alloy wire for this technique and the next spare moment I have will try that again. I really like the look of the chain after it is reduced through a draw plate. I don't think my first attempt is all that terrible and may use it in something.

I think this will be a very effective bead crochet pattern if I can ever get the danged thing strung right. I've taken out the strung bead sequence 4 times now. It doesn't help that it is 39 rows long and I was watching NASCAR races while trying to read, count and pick up beads. Maybe I need to try doing just one thing at a time when it's a long stringing table.

I spent the other day playing with a very rough version of the next iteration of bead crochet design software and came up with 6 rather neat patterns. Now I just have to get them strung (correctly!) and worked up. I guess I'd better do it at my work table without the TV going!

Bead Crochet Tip:
If you want to set up a travel bracelet project and don't want a big 'ol spool in your kit, then use a floss bobbin and wind 10 yards of thread onto it. That's what you see in the photo and you can find them in the embroidery section of craft and sewing stores. Ten yards is an ample supply of thread for at least a 9" bracelet and enough extra to handle any errors you might have to cut out. It makes for a very compact on-the-go bead crochet kit.

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